IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) Coverage
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Coverage of Selected Side Events at the First UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) of the
UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

23-27 June 2014, UNEP headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya
 
Daily Web Coverage (Click on the Following Links to See Our Daily Web Pages)
Side Events (ENBOTS) Coverage on Wednesday, 25 June 2014
 

First UNEA to UNEP

The following side events were covered by ENBOTS on Wednesday, 25 June 2014


Stomach contents of Laysan Albatross chick laid out by environmental artist Cynthia Vanderlip. The artwork
is made possible by UNEP Global Programme of Action, UNEP Global Partnership on
Marine Litter and Kure Attoll Conservancy, US, to raise awareness on the
negative effects of marine litter and land-based pollution.

Multiple Benefits from Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reductions

Presented by the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)

 

L-R: Durwood Zaelke, Director, International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE); Raisul Alam Mondal, Director General, Department of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Bangladesh; Inger Holten, International Centre for Sustainable Development;Yunus Arikan, ICLEI; Aishath Rashfa, Ministry of Environment, Maldives; and Martina Otto, UNEP

 

Durwood Zaelke, Director, INECE,
underscored the need to draw from
CCAC’s best practice in terms of
capacity building.

Martina Otto, UNEP, stated that CCAC
provides tools to enhance regional,
national and local action on SLCPs.
She added that if SCLPs are reduced,
health, climate and agricultural benefits
will be realized.

Yunus Arikan, ICLEI, underlined the
need for local and national governments
to work together to achieve success in
their cities.

 
   

Martina Otto, UNEP, moderated the session, introducing the work of the CCAC, which assists partners to take action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).

While explaining the vulnerabilities to climate change his country faces, Raisul Alam Mondal, Director General, Department of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Bangladesh, outlined steps Bangladesh has taken to reduce SLCPs. These included replacement of inefficient traditional cook stoves with clean cook stoves; use of brick kilns; and use of the alternative wetting and drying method for rice irrigation instead of flooding. He emphasized that these actions undertaken under CCAC have reduced black carbon and methane emissions. He explained that Bangladesh aims to reduce their emissions by two-thirds, and that training local entrepreneurs, and disseminating and promoting this alternative technology to citizens is key to achieving this goal.

Yunus Arikan, ICLEI, explained the role of ICLEI in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. He made reference to advances partner cities are making, especially in waste management including: Johannesburg’s use of landfill waste for power generation; a comprehensive solid waste initiative in Dar es Salaam; and use of composting in Rio de Janeiro. He encouraged more cities to join the initiative.

Durwood Zaelke, Director, International Network for Environmental Compliance and Enforcement (INECE), referring to the CCAC report ‘Time to Act to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants,’ asserted that there could be up to six times more climate benefits gained through addressing SLCPs than through aggressively pursuing CO2 emissions. He commended the work of the CCAC in identifying best practice and assisting governments in assessing opportunities to reduce SLCPs. He said the CCAC has developed tools to measure regional benefits.

Participants discussed: the Municipal Solid Waste Initiative; taking action on waste management and recycling; regional air pollution monitoring; and measuring the reduction in SLCPs over time.

A participant from Nigeria lamented the lack of implementation in the Niger Delta where several open oil fires exist, saying these have adverse consequences for poor women living there. In response, Jacqueline McGlade, UNEP Chief Scientist, said that there is now enough science to act, and that UNEP could offer support through policy actions at the international level.

Speaking about her country’s commitments to a low-emission, climate-resilient development agenda, Aishath Rashfa, Maldives, noted challenges in achieving their goals, especially with regard to elimination of HFCs and HCFCs from air conditioners in the tropical archipelago. She welcomed a district cooling system to be launched in Male, and looked forward to a feasibility study to assess optimal alternatives for Maldives’ current air conditioning.

Inger Holten, International Centre for Sustainable Development, stated that over seven million people die of air pollution-related diseases annually, with the heaviest burdens borne by the must vulnerable, such as children under five. She said that as people become more aware of the solutions, there will be more benefits, including for health, climate change, and in some cases, for the economy.


   
 
   
More Information:

http://www.unep.org/ccac

Contacts:

Martina Otto, CCAC
martina.otto@unep.org

   
 
Principle 10: Transparency, Accountability, and Citizen Engagement
in Environmental Matters


Presented by: UNEP, UNITAR, World Resources Institute, the Regional Environmental Center
and The Access Initiative
 

Stephen Stec, Central European
University, described a series of eight
regional workshops currently underway
in support of the Bali Guidelines.

Tsvetelina Borissova Filipova, REC,
highlighted that the center also engages
in inter-regional work on environmental
democracy, including with Latin America
and the Caribbean.

Javier Garcia, Ministry of Environment,
Chile, outlined steps towards the
adoption of a regional instrument for the
application of Principle 10 in the Latin
American and Caribbean region.

 
   
L-R: Tsvetelina Borissova Filipova, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe; Javier Garcia, Ministry of
Environment, Chile; Marcos Orellana, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL); and Stephen Stec, Central European
University
   
 
   

Marcos Orellana, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), moderated the session, which presented an overview of recent developments in the application of Principle 10 of the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, on access to information, public participation and access to justice.

Javier Garcia, Ministry of Environment, Chile, described recent milestones in the recognition of Principle 10, first in the Rio+20 Outcome Document of June 2012, then in the Regional Declaration on the Application of Principle 10, to which 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean now are signatories, representing 500 million people. He noted other advances since then, including negotiation of a regional roadmap, a plan of action, a common vision for development and a regional instrument to apply Principle 10 in practice.

Stephen Stec, Central European University, presented a joint project of UNEP and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) on the Bali Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, agreed by the Governing Council of UNEP in February 2010.

Stec welcomed input from interested parties to the current development of a manual, ‘Putting Rio Principle 10 into Action: An implementation guide for the UNEP Bali Guidelines,’ which includes real-life examples of legislation and practice from developing countries. He said the 172-page guide is available online for comment until 11 July.

Tsvetelina Borissova Filipova, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC), Hungary, introduced a project, ‘Building bridges between regions,’ which is facilitating cooperation and sharing of experiences and good practices among actors involved in the Aarhus Convention and similar processes. She described recent activities, including capacity building webinars to support preparation for ratification of the Convention, and enable civil society organizations (CSOs) to use their rights under the Convention.

Lalanath de Silva, World Resources Institute (WRI), gave a preview of the Environmental Democracy Index currently being developed by The Access Initiative (TAI), a global network of over 250 CSOs. He said the Index will be the first global benchmark of environmental transparency, participation and accountability at the country level, based on the existence of laws and practice indicators. He said the first report of this exercise covers 75 countries, and will be released in October 2014, noting that governments are currently involved in the reviews and commenting on the results. He highlighted that the Index could help with benchmarking and measuring achievements under the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in areas pertaining to rule of law and environmental governance.

Participants and panelists discussed the involvement of indigenous peoples; enforcement and compliance with environmental law; ways to meet the costs of public participation; and how the Index will relate with other indices, such as the Human Development Index (HDI). They noted the possibility for further regional work in Africa, building on the Pan-African Regional Conference on Access to Information that took place in September 2011.


   
 
 
Green and Decent Jobs - an important part of the SDGs

Presented by the Government of Germany in cooperation with UNEP
and the International Labour Organization (ILO)
 
   
L-R: Ligia Noronha, Director, UNEP DTIE; Izabella Teixeira, Minister of Environment, Brazil; Stephan Contius, Federal Ministry for the
Environment, Nature and Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany; Alice Kaudia, Ministry of Environment, Kenya; Aeneas Chuma,
ILO Regional Director for Africa; and Laura Martin Murillo, Director, Sustainlabour
   
 

Stephan Contius, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature
and Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany, said
that France, Switzerland and Germany support the inclusion of
green and decent jobs in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Recognizing that deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon have
decreased, Izabella Teixera, Minister of Environment, Brazil,
stressed the importance of helping Amazonian communities find
green employment alternatives.

 
   

Ligia Noronha, Director, UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE), moderated the session. She referred to a rise in global unemployment, and stated that green jobs offer new job growth opportunities. She called for greening of the brown economy in addition to creating more green-sector jobs, underscoring that not only the number of jobs, but also the quality of jobs matters.

Stephan Contius, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature and Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany, read a statement on behalf of Barbara Hendricks, Minister of Environment, Germany. Noting that green jobs are not just high-tech jobs, but can also include jobs in the agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism sectors, he called for decoupling economic growth from resource consumption. Contius suggested governments provide supportive fiscal and policy measures to encourage this transition.

Calling for a green jobs approach that goes beyond environmental considerations, Izabella Teixera, Minister of Environment, Brazil, said that if you want to pull people out of poverty, jobs and social inclusion are important. She underscored the importance of youth training and youth employment for a future green economy.

Alice Kaudia, Ministry of Environment, Kenya, referred to a green economy assessment study, developed with the International Labour Organization (ILO). She called for training and skill building, while stressing the need to examine the whole value chain. She pointed to a project in Kenya, which aimed not only to plant trees, but to grow trees, taking long-term ecosystem and employment benefits into account.

Calling for increased political will to support the transition to green and decent jobs, Laura Martin Murillo, Director, Sustainlabour, reflected that when the labor movement decided to take environmental issues into account it did so with a message of hope and a focus on the future. She said all sectors should have goals on green and decent jobs, as well as gender equity and livable wages.

Aeneas Chuma, Regional Director for Africa, ILO, said that the transition to an inclusive and development-friendly economy should include a focus on equity, job quality and social dialogue, as well as consideration of environmental and ecosystem services. He encouraged a public-private dialogue on this subject, and referred to the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), developed by UNEP, ILO, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

During discussion, delegates addressed, among other issues: scale contradictions, for example the promotion of large-scale commercial agriculture versus small organic farmers; the insider-outsider problem in that the informal sector is often outside trade union protections; youth employment challenges, especially in post-confict areas; and possibilities to decouple some jobs from the market economy.


   
 
 

Alice Kaudia, Ministry of Environment, Kenya, described the
Kenya Climate Change Innovation Centre, which provides
low-cost credit and grants for innovations to address climate
change.

 
Laura Martin Murillo, Director, Sustainlabour, reminded delegates
to be mindful of the informal working sector when thinking
about green and decent jobs.
 
 
 
 
   
L-R: Moafanua Tolusina Pouli, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa; James Fletcher, Minister of Environment, Energy,
Science and Technology, Saint Lucia; Rolph Payet, Minister of Environment and Energy, Seychelles; Mette Wilkie, UNEP/DEPI; and Takehiro
Nakamura
, UNEP/DEPI
   
 

Moafanua Tolusina Pouli, Ministry of
Natural Resources and Environment,
Samoa, emphasized the role of
partnerships to achieve sustainable
development.

 

Rolph Payet, Minister of Environment
and Energy, the Seychelles explained
how his country is using finances from
tourism to restore coral reefs.

 

James Fletcher, Minister of
Environment, Energy, Science and
Technology, Saint Lucia, highlighted the
potential of Ocean Thermal Energy
Conversion (OTEC), saying this is a form
of energy unique to SIDS, on the
pathway to sustainable development.

 
   

The event focused on issues to be addressed in preparation for the Third International Conference on SIDS to take place in Samoa in September 2014.

Mette Wilkie, Director, UNEP Division Of Environmental Policy Implementation, (DEPI) who chaired the session, contrasted the tropical beauty of most SIDS with the challenges they face. She recalled that participants at the Rio+20 conference noted with concern that most SIDS have experienced constraints in meeting targets set out in the Mauritius Strategy of Implementation.

Rolph Payet, Minister of Environment and Energy, Seychelles, highlighted the role of UNEP in supporting the SIDS agenda. He noted the work needed to keep the Indian Ocean clean, lamenting the pollution accumulating on several of the country’s uninhabited islands from sources beyond the Seychelles. In addition, he called for new strategies for integrated water management. He cautioned SIDS to be prudent when dealing with resource extraction, stating that a multi-stakeholder approach to marine planning was needed. Payet stressed the need for SIDS to represent themselves as a group at UNEA, with a forum to discuss and put forward specific issues to be reflected in UNEA decisions.

James Fletcher, Minister of Environment, Energy, Science and Technology, Saint Lucia, highlighted various challenges including the high cost of energy, waste disposal, water-related emergencies, which constitute some of the issues curtailing economic growth on island states. He emphasized the potential of sustainable energy in charting a sustainable development pathway for SIDS. He called for financial support to develop green energy solutions such as wind, geothermal, biomass, and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC).

In addition to challenges highlighted by the previous two speakers, Moafanua Tolusina Pouli, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa, emphasized SIDS' isolation from opportunities through limited access to natural resources, making some SIDS dependent on aid. He described the upcoming conference as a “unique opportunity to launch partnerships that will help realize transformational development for SIDS.”

Participants discussed issues including: global environmental assessments; the role of UNEP Live in data consolidation; restructuring education to develop home-grown experts to handle SIDS issues; data collection opportunities, which are simplified by having small populations; partnerships to address SIDS’ vulnerabilities that are exacerbated by climate change; and the agenda of the Samoa conference.

Wilkie outlined UNEP’s work in providing support to SIDS, drawing participants’ attention to various resources such as the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE), the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP), and the UNEP Live platform. She highlighted publications such as ‘The Green Economy in a Blue World’ and a guidance manual on evaluation of ecosystem services in SIDS.

   
 

Participants watched videos highlighting how difficulties with solid waste management and invasive fish species could be turned into
opportunities for growth.

 
More Information:

http://www.stlucia.gov.lc


http://www.sidsnet.org

Contacts:

Takehiro Nakamura, UNEP
takehiro.nakamura@unep.org

 
ECO Consultative Ministerial Meeting on Environment

Presented by the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)

 

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive
Director, highlighted that the UNEA is
considering draft decisions which, if
adopted, will have positive implications
for the world.

 

Massoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President of
Iran, reaffirmed commitment to
advancing environmental standards in
the ECO region.

 

Seyed Jalaledin Alavi Sabzevari,
Deputy Secretary-General of ECO, said
it has developed into a fully-fledged
international organization mandated to
promote sustainable development.

 
   

This meeting convened on the sidelines of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) session. Ten countries are represented in ECO: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Seyed Jalaledin Alavi Sabzevari, Deputy Secretary-General of ECO, invited delegates to elect the Chair of the meeting. Delegates elected Massoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President of Iran, by acclamation.

Alavi urged ministers to treat the environment as a top priority, referring to the ECO Plan of Action on Environmental Cooperation and Global Warming for the period 2011-2015, which he said requires the active participation of stakeholders.

Ebtekar reaffirmed commitment to ECO to advance environmental standards, noting that all members are facing serious environmental challenges that are impeding economic development.

Welcoming the leadership of the group, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, said that both regional and global approaches to environmental challenges are needed, and that “we are destined work in complementarity.”

Delegates discussed emerging global environmental issues that have a direct bearing on the ECO region. They requested the ECO secretariat to explore with UNEP the possibility of a State of Environment report for the ECO region. They agreed to define a sound and synergistic regional approach to green economy, and to enhance their cooperation with the relevant international organizations, particularly UNEP.

The meeting particularly focused on addressing natural disasters in the ECO region. They welcomed Turkey’s offer to host the 5th ECO Ministerial Meeting on Environment in October 2014 in Istanbul. Turkey proposed that the forthcoming meeting address the theme of ‘Environmental Impacts of Disasters,’ and include the active participation of national disaster-related agencies.

   
 
   

L-R: Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director; Massoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President of Iran; Seyed Jalaledin Alavi Sabzevari, Deputy Secretary-General of ECO; Amb.Malik Hussein Givzad, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Iran to UNEP and UN-Habitat; and
Reza Samieifard, ECO

   
 
   

Group photo of participants from the ECO Consultative Ministerial Meeting on Environment

   
 
More Information:

http://www.ecosecretariat.org/in2.htm

Contacts:

Reza Samieifard, ECO
Prg-EnvEnr@ECOsecretariat.org

 
Opening of the Brazilian film "Waste Land"

Presented by the Government of Brazil

 

Marcela Nicodemus, Brazilian Ambassador to Kenya, introduced
a movie documentary with a “happy ending” about how
Brazilian artist, Vik Muniz used his art to highlight the lives of
people working in the “end of the line” landfill in Gramacho,
Rio de Janeiro.

 
   

Vik Muniz believes that “mixing art with social projects changes everything.” Through his expository work, the
government closed the landfill, compensated the people, and is now on the path to sustainable waste disposal.

   
 
 
 
Funding for coverage of UNEA-1 has been provided by UNEP
 
UNEP

Related Links
UNEA-1 General Resources

*Assembly Website

*GMGSF-15 Website

*GMGSF-15 Agenda

*Statements and Recommendations by Major Groups and Stakeholders to UNEA-1

*GMGSF Previous Sessions

*GMGSF Website

*UNEA-1 Full Schedule

*UNEA-1 Scenario Note

*UNEA-1 Annotated Agenda

*UNEA-1 Organization

*UNEA-1 Documents

*High-level Segment Ministerial Plenary: The Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals including Sustainable Consumption and Production

*High-level Segment Ministerial Dialogue on Illegal Trade in Wildlife

*Symposium on Environmental Rule of Law

*Symposium on Financing a Green Economy

*Gender Forum


IISD RS Resources

*IISD RS coverage of the First meeting of the UNEP Open-Ended Committee of Permanent Representatives (OECPR), 24-28 March 2014, UNEP headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya

bulletIISD RS coverage of the Twenty-seventh Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC27/GMEF), 18-22 February 2013, UNEP headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya

bulletIISD RS briefing note of GMGSF-14, 16-17 February 2013, UNEP headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya (HTML - PDF)

bulletIISD RS coverage of the Twelfth Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council (GCSS-12/GMEF), 20-22 February 2012, UNEP headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya

*IISD RS archive of sustainable development meetings

*IISD RS summary report of GMGSF-13, 18-19 February 2012, UNEP headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya (HTML - PDF)

*SDG - A mailing list for news on sustainable development policy

*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development

*SDG - A mailing list focused on internationally-relevant activities related to setting the post-2015 development agenda

*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Post-2015 Development Agenda Activities

*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the side (ENBOTS) © <enb@iisd.org> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). This issue has been written by Resson Kantai Duff, Jennifer Lenhart, and Delia Paul. The Digital Editor is Francis Dejon. The Editor is Liz Willetts <liz@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of selected side events at UNEA-1 has been provided by UNEP. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from UNEA-1 can be found on the Linkages website at <http://www.iisd.ca/unep/unea/unea1/enbots/>. The ENBOTS team at UNEA-1 can be contacted by e-mail at <delia@iisd.org>.
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